Trip Coach: Dec. 13, 2005
Budget Travel editors answer your questions
Budget Travel Editors: Thanks for joining us! Let's get to your questions...
New York, New York: I am traveling to Belize on January 29, headed to Blancaneux Lodge for a week. I want to buy travel insurance which specifically covers any delays due to weather. Due to the price of the trip, missing one day (due to, for example, a snow delay) will result in my fiancee and I losing many hundreds of dollars. Can you recommend the best travel insurance for this purpose?
Budget Travel Editors: Just about every travel insurance policy protects the purchaser against bad weather. Go to a site such as insuremytrip.com or quotetravelinsurance.com to compare policies. Look under "Trip Cancellation" and "Trip Interruption" for specifics on what exactly is covered before paying for anything. If bad weather causes your trip to be delayed or cancelled entirely, the insurance company pays up in full. Along with medical emergencies, bad weather is one of the prime reasons folks buy travel insurance. The weather usually has to be bad enough for the flight to be cancelled, however. If it's a snowy day and the planes are flying, you've got to get yourself to the airport if possible and get on the plane. On the other hand, if the weather is bad enough for flights to be cancelled, the airlines involved generally allow passengers to cancel or change plans without penalty (on a case by case basis). Hotels handle things a little differently, but usually if a customer's flight is cancelled, a hotel will likewise allow the customer to change or cancel with little or no penalty.
Robbinsdale, MN : I am planning a surprise trip to NYC for my wife immediately after Christmas. Knowing almost nothing about New York I was researching Gray Line tours...Is it worth $99 for three days transportation and entry to the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty observation deck? Or should we suck it up and learn to ride the subway like New York's other 8 million people?
Budget Travel Editors: Don't fret about the $99. In a city as big--and as intimidating--as New York, $99 for three days of transportation including informative tour guides, hop-on hop-off access, and entrance into two of the city's top attractions is definitely worth the splurge. But do yourself a favor and give New York's public transportation a try. One of the most thrilling rides for first-timers is aboard the Staten Island Ferry. It's totally free and departs hourly from lower Manhattan's newly refurbished Staten Island Ferry terminal (ferrytime.com). Along the way you'll be treated to first-class views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, as well photo-gobbling looks at the Manhattan skyline. As for the subway, have no fear. New Yorkers don't, so neither should you. In the meantime, be sure to download our New York Snap Guide on our homepage for more tips about the city.
Lake San Marcos, California: Which car rental companies offer one-way rentals between Madrid and Barcelona? I would like to pick up a car in downtown Barcelona and return it at the Madrid airport in June 2006. Any suggestions?
Budget Travel Editors: Most major car rental agencies offer one-way rentals. Our best advice would be to rent your car BEFORE you depart on your trip either directly through one of the major car rental agencies, such as Avis, or through AutoEurope.com (autoeurope.com). As in the US, you should expect to pay more for a one-way drop-off. If you'll be traveling in Spain for longer than two weeks, then we suggest looking into a short-term lease-you can save quite a bit of money by going this route. Be forewarned that you'll also pay considerably more for an automatic car. We also suggest saving money and booking a manual, if you're comfortable with that. And diesel cars are cheaper to fill too.
New York City: How do I order theater tickets for March 24-25-26 on line???
Budget Travel Editors: Telecharge.com is the most well-known source for booking theater tickets online, however there are some smaller websites, such as TheaterMania.com (theatermania.com) and BroadwayBox.com (broadwaybox.com), that not only allow you to book, but they also offer discounts and promotional codes as well.